Junior Discovers Passion for Computer Science

Charlotte Merchant '19, a fellow in our science research program, hopes to help cancer researchers through computer science.
As a Hutchison science research fellow, Charlotte has gone beyond her classroom studies to conduct independent research under the tutelage of professional mentors. She spent last summer at the University of Memphis working on projects in computational complexity and computational geometry with two professors specializing in theoretical computer science. She also participated in the Tennessee Governor's School for Emerging Technologies where she conducted research in computational biology and received the top programming student distinction.

Because of her aspirations of using computer science to aid in cancer research, Charlotte has received special recognition from the National Center for Women in Technology and a 2018 Emperor Science Award. As a recipient of the Emperor award, Charlotte joins a select cohort of students (the only one in Tennessee) empowered to become the next generation of research scientists through a unique mentoring program.

Mary Lee Wesberry, Charlotte's AP Biology teacher and director of the Hutchison Science Research Fellows Program, says, "Charlotte has an enthusiasm for learning that transcends the classroom, and she strives for excellence in all aspects of student life." Eventually, as more girls like Charlotte choose this path, it won’t seem like computer science is just for boys.

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Hutchison is the leading private girls school in Memphis for ages 2 years old through twelfth grade.